FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear Valued Members,
I want to take a moment and thank all of you for the opportunity to
serve during this past year. It has been a very good experience and
a pleasure to get to know the many dedicated members of this
Over the past year I have heard from many of how much they respect
and appreciate what the Historical Society has contributed to the
community. I hope all of you are aware of this distinction and that
it is attributed to your dedication. Thank you. Your continued
dedication and commitment will ensure the success of the mission and
purpose of this special organization.
As we move forward and continue with the growth and many projects
that define the Society, know that the goals that have been set
continue to move forward and that the newest members of the Society
Board to be sworn in during the Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 13
will bring continued support to the members we serve.
I wish Harold Thieda the best as he leads and represents the
Society. Success to all.
Be sure to take a moment to read the many articles in this issue of
the Newsletter. A lot is happening and we don’t want you to miss any
“I’m so glad we had this time together, to share a laugh and sing
a song. Seems we just get started and before you know it; comes the
time we have to say so long.”
Best regards, Kathy Sturm
● Wed., May 13, 7
PM, Saugatuck High School Media Room, Society Annual Business
Meeting, meet our new Board members, announcement of the President's
Award, Volunteer of the Year and Lorenz Award as well as a brief
overview of our new Museum exhibit.
Wed., June 10, 7 PM, in partnership with the
Saugatuck Center for the Arts,
Jim Schmiechen will speak on the life and work of Sylvia Randolph.
The public is invited to the
"Sylvia Randolph: an Art-filled Life" Exhibition Opening
Reception on Sunday, May 3 from 3 to 5 pm
Painting in Saugatuck for 80 years, Sylvia Randolph’s works are a
veritable local history project, reflecting the influences of
notable Ox-Bow instructors, shifts in pop culture, and the area’s
changing landscape. Join Jim Schmiechen for a look at four
remarkable decades in Saugatuck/Douglas and what the retrospective
of Ms. Randolph’s works in the SCA’s exhibition hall tells us about
ourselves, our community, and our world.
Wed., July 8, 7 PM,
Yacht Club, the history of the Saugatuck Yacht Club as they
celebrate their 75th anniversary of teaching young and old to sail
small boats. John Shack has recruited a group of "Old Salts"
to spin some tales about the Club.
SAVE THE DATE!
Century of Leisure at the
Museum Opening Reception
Saturday, May 23 | 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Commercial Record, July 14,
BOWL-A-RAMA IS BACK: BOWLERS & SPONSORS NEEDED
This year’s event will be Thursday night, June 4 at Lakeview Lanes
Proceeds from this event help support the Old School House Discovery
Center in Douglas and the Society’s Museum in Saugatuck.
Eight 5-person teams are needed to bowl. The cost for each team
member is $25 (which is tax deductible.) Bowling will begin at 7:00
pm and each team will bowl 2 games. If you would like to bowl that
evening, contact Judi Vanderbeck at (269) 857-2682.
Not a bowler? You can still support the event by making a pledge to
your favorite bowler. Here’s how it works - - if you make a pledge
of $.05 a pin and your bowler scores at total of 300 pins, your
donation would be $15.00. It's simple to pledge, sign up when a
bowler contacts you or call Judi to make a pledge. You can, of
course, make a pledge at the event.
It’s also a great event for everyone to attend. There will be 50/50
drawings, food, fun, and prizes.
NEW SOCIETY FUNDRAISING EVENT
The Society is planning a new event for July 2009, a SUPER garage
sale that we are calling the UPSCALE SALE. This will be a fundraiser
for the Society and we are looking for high quality donations from
our members and the community.
What might you consider donating? Suggested items include antiques,
books, collectibles, framed art, small household appliances, dishes
and housewares, sports gear and small furniture. We will not be able
to accept clothing, computer electronics, large appliances, large
furniture/sleep sets or exercise equipment for reasons that include
display space and disposal of unsold items. Our goal is to sell
items that will maximize the profits of the event.
Your donation of high quality items is a great way to support your
Society and receive a tax deduction too!
You’ll receive information about collection dates and locations
soon. Thank you in advance for your donations and support.
1933 PAVILION CONTEST REMEMBERED
July 1933 Commercial Record
For over 50 years, the Saugatuck Pavilion was a center of
entertainment for young and old. One of the annual events in the
early 1930s was a Costume Party and contest, with cash prizes for
the winners. In 1933, four young girls, two locals and two “summer
people” were a part of the competition.
The oldest, Phyllis Pamperien, a college sophomore, designed and sewed the costumes,
which consisted of a “milk maid” outfit and a cow suit. Local teens
Betty and Vivian Powers, and Phyllis’ sister Elizabeth were the
contestants. Vivian, a beauty who was to be the 1937 “Blossom
Queen”, was the milk maid, while Betty and Elizabeth did their duty
the inside of the cow.
Betty (Powers) Strampel Dorr and Phyllis (Pamperien) Yoder have both
passed on, but Vivian (Powers) Chambers of Grand Rapids, and
Elizabeth (Pamperien) Schultz, of Arlington Heights, IL, are still
with us. Vivian recalls that the winning prize "was supposed to be
$15, but somebody goofed, and we only received $7". The cash was
divided four ways between the girls.
The moral of this tale, says Elizabeth, is that even if your sister
makes the costume, you can still end up being the rear end of a cow.
Submitted by Chris Yoder
A LOCAL MEMORIAL FOR MAY FRANCIS HEATH?
A study group is being formed to determine an appropriate way to
memorialize early Saugatuck historian May Francis Heath.
Mrs. Heath was the descendant of Saugatuck founding fathers, a civic
leader in her own right, and the author of Saugatuck Through
the Ages (1830-1930) (now reprinted and available for
purchase from the Society bookstore).This effort has received
conceptual approval of the Society Board. If you would be interested
in working with this group, contact Chris Yoder, 857-4327, email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or Rob Carey,
857-2478, email: email@example.com
WHAT YOU MISSED
April 8, 2009 Society Meeting All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 73
President Kathy Sturm called the meeting to order at 7:12 p.m. with
Thank you to Jane Underwood and Ellen Sprouls for tonight’s
arrangements and refreshments
Next meeting is May 13 for the Lorenz and Volunteer Awards plus
swearing in of new board members Ballots are due next Friday, April
Nancy Woods, Development, thanked all for help so far and alerted us
that an appeal for the next campaign will come soon.
Jeff Wilcox, Heritage Preservation Awards spokesperson, invited
those non Society members in attendance to join this organization
for maintenance is SO critical for our historic structures and
landscapes. Awards were presented in the following categories:
Home at 8 Wall Street, Douglas to Dan Turner and Gregory Dziewit
MacDonald Store Addition, Douglas to Robin and Sharon Bauer
Debbink-Plowe Cottage at 336 Park Street, Saugatuck to Steven
Red Barn at 540 Campbell Road, Douglas to Ken and Kathleen Tornvall
PRESERVATION of the HISTORIC LANDSCAPE
Balakeyll at 182 Lakeshore Drive, Douglas to Webster & Helen Corlett
Interurban Trail | Peterson Preserve, Saugatuck to Jim and Peggy
Dune Schooner Property, Saugatuck to Linus and Janice Starring
PRESERVATION of the HISTORIC BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Hercules Hotdogs at 236 Culver Street, Saugatuck to Donald Schipper
and John Seros
Park House B&B at 888 Holland Street, Saugatuck to Toni Trudell and
Home at 61 Randolph Street, Douglas to Dan Turner and Gregory
The Boulders at 130 Lakeshore Drive, Douglas to K. J. and Carrie
Finkle-Knollenberg House at 605 Campbell Road, Douglas to Stephen
Shoe Box House at 229 Francis Street, Saugatuck to Darrell Price and
BLUE STAR CORRIDOR
Bike Path, Blue Star Highway to Bill Wester HERITAGE PRESERVATION
Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance to David Swan
Shorewood Association to Sally Schreuer and Nancy Budd
Saugatuck Convention and Visitors Bureau to Felicia Fairchild
HONOR AND RESPECT
Valentine Lodge at 653 Campbell Road, Douglas to Allan and W.F.
Crawford House at 404 Griffith Street, Saugatuck to Bill and Barbara
Pond-Winslow House at 446 Griffith Street, Saugatuck to Ken A.
Cummings House at Randolph and Washington, Douglas to Samuel and
Gray-Zarate Home at 541 Campbell Road, Douglas to Ken Gray and
Fruit Barn and Garden at Randolph and Spring, Douglas to Patricia
White Barn at 2525 Lakeshore Drive, Fennville to Dennis Vetter and
Landis Lodge at 2593 Lakeshore Drive, Fennville to the Watts Family
Peggy Boyce thanked all who registered with the State Historic
The 2009 Heritage Preservation Awards Committee members: Ken Carls,
Chuck Carlson, Judy Hillman, chair, Dottie Lyon, Judy Oberholtzer,
John Peters, Peg Sanford, Jim Schmiechen, Patrick Shea, Bob Simonds,
Kathy Sturm, Jane Underwood and Jeff Wilcox. Submitted by Jane
The Society has an operating budget of approximately $80,000 and
through the first three months of this year, we are on target for
income and expenditures. This operating budget does not include the
estimated $300,000 that we still need to finish the Old School House
and fund an endowment to help defray on-going operating costs.
As you can well imagine, in these tight economic times, we need to
continue to maximize our revenues and manage our expenses in a
fiscally conservative manner. We will be presenting additional
information about our financial results at the annual meeting. In
the meantime, if you have any questions, please email me
Submitted by Stacy Honson, Treasurer
Balloting for this year's slate of Board members closed on Friday,
April 17. 97 ballots were received. Results are:
|Harold Thieda, President
|Stacy Honson, Treasurer
|Ken Carls, Member at Large
|James Cook Member at Large
|Tony Vettori, Member a Large
Write-ins for Member at Large
New Board members will be presented at the May 13 Annual Meeting.
Submitted by Jon Helmrich, Nominating Committee
VOLUNTEERS - OUR GREATEST
Our Saugatuck Douglas Historical Society could not function without
our very valuable volunteers. A huge thank you goes to the following
people who make our organization the success that it is. In all we
list more than 99 active volunteers.
People who have donated more than 800 hours: Jack Sheridan;
more than 450 hrs: Kathy Sturm & Chris Yoder; more than
300 hrs.: Dick Haight, Dottie Lyon, Kit Lane, John Peters,
Collettte Snydacker, Bill Hess.
Those with more than 150 hrs. Nancy Woods, Jim Schmiechen,
Jim Gowran. More than 100 hrs: Mary Voss, Steve Hutchins, Jon
Helmrich, Marsha Kontio, Ed Kelly, Jane Osman, Rob Carey, Nicolaas
More than 80 hours, Elliot Sturm, Mary Lyons. More than 70
hours: Maryrita Peters, Tom Anthrop, Chuck Carlson. More than 50
hours: Adrian Vincent, Karen Tews, Harold Thieda, Judi Vanderbeck,
Dave Vander Laan, John Shack.
Those with more than 40 hours: Cynthia Sorensen, Stacy
Honson, Judy Oberholtzer, Marcia Perry, Charles Hancock. Those with
more than 20 hours: Bill Galligan, Mike Mattern, Peg Sanford,
Sally Winthers, Karen Sproel, Judy Mauger, Jerry Hill, Dawn
Schumann, Sylvia Daple, Bill & Patty Lint, Janet Schmidt, Deborah
Schroeder, Sunny Hill, Howard Schultz, Judy Anthrop, Vic Bella.
This is by no means a complete list as there are people who have
volunteered many, many hours and never sent in their time. Some of
those who come to mind are Judy Hillman, Mike Economos, and Ken
Carls. Numerous volunteers listed above also put in many more hours
which they have not bothered to turn in.
Keeping track of donated hours allows us to acknowledge and express
our appreciation to our volunteers. In addition, granting
organizations such as the Preserve America Grant count donated labor
as a part of the matching funds we need to provide. Each volunteer
hour will be a huge help as our fundraising resources become scarcer.
I have already begun recording volunteer hours for 2009. If you have
not already turned in your time this year please e-mail me at
Thank you ahead of time. Please don’t be modest! Submitted by
Boating? the beach? golf? dancing? favorite restaurant? fishing—or
just hanging out with friends and family? Yes, but how can summer be
summer without ice cream?
Ice cream seller - somewhere and
sometime ago in Saugatuck. Anybody have any clues? Reply to this
The list is endless - and you might help us out in our inventory of
bygone ice cream stores - although the first one supposedly grew out
of an ice cream factory in Saugatuck in 1885.
Even the Presbyterian camp had its own ice cream parlor in the 1940s
- but legend has it that the best chocolate soda was to be had at
the Ferry Store.
The favorite hangout in the 1950s and 1960s was the Soda Lounge on
Butler Street, run by Ruth Wright and Mike and Vera Kenny. Wilson’s
ice cream shop was located in the present Santa Fe Store on Butler
Street. Phone 62 for delivery.
We have a collection of a few ice cream stories and a number of
photos but have need for more to add to our growing collection. Give
us a shout by way of
or Jim Schmiechen.
SUMMERTIME - THE
The Historical Society’s museum exhibition for 2009 is a very
ambitious attempt at telling a very big story and opens on Saturday,
May 23 (Memorial Day Weekend) with the Members Reception beginning
at 5:30 PM.
The design/installation and technology groups are hard at work -
including plowing through hundreds of photographs and the Society's
archives, poster design and publicity output, painting, model
building, even producing a string of old ‘home movies’ of summertime
in the Saugatuck area.
Actual exhibit construction will begin as soon as the gallery is
repainted, the opening reception planners are at work and the museum
garden is being given its summertime 2009 facelift. THANKS to the
several dozen volunteers engaged in this big push toward May 23rd.
YOUR INVITATION TO BE A
As you know, our award-winning museum is free and is operated
without a paid staff. With over 8,000 visitors last year we continue
to be a West Michigan destination for people from all over the
This year's exhibit, Summertime – A Century of Leisure Along
the Lake Michigan Shore, is sure to be a hit with our
The key to our success is our volunteer hosts. If you have
volunteered as a Museum Host in the past we thank you for your
support and urge you to host again this year. If you have not, we
hope you consider volunteering this year!
The commitment for a Host is to volunteer for at least 1 (but
hopefully more) shift during the season. (The Museum will be open
Noon to 4 p.m. – daily from Sunday, May 24th through Labor Day and
Saturdays and Sundays in September and October.)
As a Museum Host you will enjoy Hosts' only "perks" - - - a special
exhibit preview and orientation mid-May and the Volunteers' "Thank
You" reception and dinner at the end of the season.
If you would like to join us as a host or have any questions,
contact Bill Hess at 269.857.1081 or by email at
SDHS 101 REMINDER
The first SDHS 101
session of the year will be held this Saturday, April 25 outside at
the Old School House Discovery Center at 10:00 a.m. New and former
members are invited to attend - there will be lots of good company,
information, and opportunities for you to contribute to our great
NEW MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY
Among the many benefits of
membership in the Society is the "Membership Directory".
To be included in this years directory, please join the Society
before June 1, 2009. The directory will be distributed in late June.